Prologue

In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong


 June 2006

General Hospital: Locker Room

Robin Scorpio’s courage nearly faltered when she came across Patrick Drake hovering over a blonde nurse, flashing that charming smile–the dimple winking in his cheek. She nearly turned and walked away but that would be the easy thing and Robin was through taking the easy route.

“Patrick?” Robin spoke up. “I’m sorry to interrupt–”

“Then don’t,” Patrick said flatly without even glancing in her direction.

“It’s important,” Robin tried again. “Please.”

Patrick sighed and rolled his head before leveling an impatient glare in her direction. “Is it about a patient? An upcoming surgery?”

“No,” Robin admitted, “but–”

“Then we have nothing to discuss.” Patrick dismissed her and turned his attention back to the nurse.

“You know, why don’t we do this later?” the nurse remarked with a sympathetic smile to Robin. After all, everyone in the hospital knew that the two had crashed and burned a few weeks ago. It couldn’t be easy having to walk around knowing that everyone knew Patrick Drake had dumped you.

She slipped away from Patrick and left the locker room, the door swinging gently shut. Patrick exhaled slowly and shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “You happy now?” he demanded.

Without warning, Robin burst into tears–a mortifying moment for her and a very panicked one for him.

“I’m sorry,” he said uncomfortably. “There’s–there’s no reason to get all upset.”

Robin sniffled and took a deep breath, trying to regain her composure. “I’m sorry–that’s–it’s been happening a lot and it’s stupid and it doesn’t even have to be about anything–” she shook her head. “Look, I just–I have to tell you something, okay?”

His eyes narrowed. “What?” Patrick leaned against the locker. “Didn’t you give up all rights to lecture me?”

“This–” Robin felt hysteria bubbling in her throat again. Oh, God, please let me get through this, she thought desperately. “I just–I had an appointment with Alan–”

Patrick snapped straight up and alarm replaced the look of impatience. “What? Are you sick? What’s wrong?”

“I’m not–” Robin shook her head. “I’m not sick. I almost wish I were but…” She closed her eyes. “Patrick, I’m pregnant.”

The color slowly drained from his face and suddenly, he knew he wasn’t going to be able stand much longer. Patrick sat on the bench and stared at her. “Pregnant,” he repeated.

“I’m s-sorry.” Robin bit her lip. “I–you–you have to get tested, Patrick. Right now. Because if I’m pregnant, there’s a risk–”

“Yeah, okay. I’ll do that.” That was the furthest thing from his mind though he was sure it would be top priority for her. “I don’t understand–we used–we were safe.” He shook his head. “Are you sure? Is Alan sure?”

“We ran the tests a few times. I insisted.” Robin wrapped her arms around herself. “It’s yours,” she found herself saying lamely. “I just–I don’t know if you thought it might not–”

“Well of course the baby’s mine,” Patrick spared her an irritated look. “I’m not an idiot, Robin.” He clenched his hands into fists when he realized they were trembling. “I can’t–I can’t do this right now.”

She had expected that, had played this scene out a thousand times in her head in the time it had taken her to walk from the Chief of Staff’s office to the locker room this morning. And every single scenario ended with Patrick walking away from her.

“I don’t–I don’t need anything,” Robin said quietly. “I just–I thought you should know. Because you need to get tested and–you don’t have to do anything, Patrick, okay? I know that–” she broke off and looked at the floor. “Look, I have to–I have to go tell my uncle, okay? So…I’ll just–I’ll walk away first.”

Her hand was on the handle of the door when he realized her intentions and he was up and off the bench before she could open the door. “Wait–just wait a second–” He grabbed her elbow but she yanked out of his grasp and stepped back.

“I know–I know that you don’t want kids and you don’t want responsibility and that’s okay, I mean, I’m not asking you to do anything. I don’t need–”

“Robin, you can’t dump this on me and expect me to have all the answers,” Patrick interrupted. “I need a second to process, a second–a second to think, okay?”

“You can have all the time you need,” Robin said stiffly. “I have to go tell my family, okay?”

“Robin–” Patrick began but she ducked under his arm and fled the locker room. She heard him calling her name but she ignored it and stepped onto an elevator. He caught up to her just as the elevator doors slid closed.

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